High Schoolers: An Important Note About Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

As a high school student, you may be experiencing tremendous pressures to succeed…in academics, community activities, social activities, and more.  All of these factors culminate into the idea of becoming a successful adult with accountability.  While it is considered unfair by many, it is a fact that one of the measurements of successful adulthood is earning power in the workforce.

According to Workforce.com, highly emotionally intelligent individuals earn an average of $29,000 more per year than those who seemingly lack a socially acceptable degree of emotional intelligence (EQ).  Here are a couple of reasons they earn more:

1) They tend to manage their emotions with a level of grace and control in personal and professional circumstances.  Let’s be honest.  Emotional outbursts are frowned upon in most school and professional settings–it reflects a lack of self-control.  Using self-awareness and self-management, emotionally intelligent individuals are able to manage their emotions and thus project an image of stability and maturity. 

2) Given the fact that they understand how to manage self-control, they tend to be effective communicators.  They are thought leaders who don’t mind casting vulnerabilities aside.  They fearlessly share intriguing ideas with peers, mentors, teachers, and parents.  They successfully lead old, young, men, and women to greater heights and brighter paths.  

If you have the ability to put others at ease, it speaks volumes about your ability to inspire trust and to cultivate relationships.  These are but a couple of examples of what a respected and admired leader look like.  Emotional intelligence (EQ) is a powerful component of success.  Use it wisely.

Go forth and make it a great day !!

Generation Z Should Know 4 Facts About Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

Emotional Intelligence.  What is it?

Successful leaders have the ability to connect with others.  This ability is often labeled as charisma, however, those charismatic traits are strongly correlated to emotional intelligence (EQ).  Let’s briefly review the idea of emotional intelligence and what it looks like.

Oxford Dictionary defines emotional intelligence as “the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.”  In a nutshell, EQ is our ability to connect with others utilizing our understanding of the emotions of others, as well as our own.

Harvard Business Review further breaks down EQ into four components:

  1. Self-awareness
  2. Self-management
  3. Social awareness
  4. Relationship management

Self-awareness:   I’m able to quickly and accurately ascertain my feelings.

This looks like:  I have a tight deadline for an upcoming project and as a result I’m feeling stressed which is causing me to be irritable and impatient with myself and others.

Self-management:  Because I’m aware of my emotions (good, bad, indifferent, obstinate…), I manage my behaviors in a positive manner. 

This looks like:  I know my project deadline is stressing me out and making me irritable and impatient.  I look for ways to work more efficiently, practice stress reduction techniques, and prioritize my responsibilities.  I take responsibility for having self-control.

Social Awareness:  I’m able to accurately ascertain the emotional state of others. I understand and respond to their needs.

This looks like:  My colleague who normally greets the team every morning goes straight to his/her desk without speaking to anyone.  I gently approach my colleague to say “hello” and prepare to listen to what they may want to share (if anything).

Relationship Management:  Because I’m aware of my emotions and the emotions of others, I’m able to successfully manage interpersonal experiences.

This looks like:  An agenda item in today’s sales meeting is about the deadline for an important project.  After the roundtable discussion about the project, it is clear the work was not evenly distributed among team members.  I notice frustrated body language from a few colleagues and I respectfully suggest how to equitably re-distribute the tasks based on individual expertise.  Management and the team agree with my suggestion and now everyone is visibly more relaxed and upbeat.

EQ is so much more than “having a great personality”.  An emotionally intelligent individual is highly conscious of his or her own emotional states and is tuned in to the emotions that others experience.  Emotional signals from within oneself and from one’s social environment could make one a better friend, parent, and yes, a better leader.

So, now that we know a little more about EQ and how to manage it for ourselves, let’s go out there and make it a great day !

3 Misconceptions Businesses Make About Generation Z

So, you think your brand understands how to impress Generation Z (Gen Z) to buy your product/service?  Compare your assumptions to the results of a Gen Z think tank survey:

  • When considering a purchase, quality is the top consideration for Gen Z with price a close second.  Accountability and trust tie for third place
  • Gen Z males said maintaining high quality on products will capture their loyalty while Gen Z females said great value for price will make them loyal to a brand 
  • Celebrity endorsements have the least effect on brand loyalty—even though Gen Zers have a fascination with pop culture

Members of Gen Z are those born between 1997 and 2015 putting them in the age range of 6-24 years old in 2021.

What matters to Gen Z is that they want businesses to know who they are and what they like/dislike.  To be clear, Gen Z is not a monolith, however, due diligence must be undertaken if you’re serious about including them in your client base.  Remember, Gen Z buying power in the U.S. is a whopping a $143 billion. That’s nearly 40 percent of all U.S. consumer shopping.  If that’s not impressive enough, 93% of parents say their Gen Z children influence their household spending and another 70% of parents ask their Gen Z kids for advice before making purchases.

Your company has a higher chance of attracting Gen Z to become loyal customers IF your core values align with their expectations.

Gen Zers are looking at your company’s mission, product quality, and service quality before committing to purchases. If you want their business and loyalty, review your corporate philosophy to determine if it conducive to the three points in this article.

Let’s all go out there and make it a great day.

5 Facts High Schoolers Should Know About Email Etiquette

Photo Courtesy of Pixaby

More than ever, companies are experimenting with new communication modalities. That said, as employees, especially Generation Z, are accustomed to communicating in real-time collaborative environments similar to those found within social media.  Applications such as Yammer and Slack use social technologies to allow employees to share information internally.  However, despite the emergence of new workplace communication applications email still reigns supreme.  A survey conducted by the Public Relations Society of America found that 95% of companies use email as their primary mode of internal communication.

Here are five rules to live by:

  1. Use “Reply all” thoughtfully. Consider whether everyone on the list will benefit from your response.  Take time to edit the recipient list to avoid  inundating people with emails that don’t pertain to them.  Nothing eats more time than reading unnecessary emails (not to mention the aggravation of it all).
  2. Check your tone.  Never compose an email when you’re upset because it’s too easy to include harsh words and phraseology that you will likely regret later.  Also, brevity can be a friend or foe…a sent message can be misconstrued as abrupt or not taken seriously enough.  Before sending, put yourself in the recipient’s position and read your message aloud.  Does it convey what you intended?   Remember to include “please” and “thank you”.  They are courtesies that will take you miles with the reader.
  3. Avoid fancy fonts.  Use easy to read fonts such as Arial, or Times New Roman.  It’s best to use size 11 or 12 point types.
  4. To prevent accidentally sending an incomplete email, insert the recipient address(es) just before you’re ready to send the message.  That way you will catch typos and missing attachments.
  5. Every communication is not email compatible.  If you require a quick response, make a phone call.  Also, keep in mind that sensitive subjects such as job performance may be best suited for a face-to-face conversation.

When it’s all said and done, email is still an effective mode of communication and we must understand how to manage its usefulness and power.  Young new hires should review this short video and add it to their Soft Skills arsenal.

For more information about email and telephone etiquette,  type “business etiquette” in the blog search box on our website, www.elite-customer.com.

And now…go out there and make it a great day !!

5 Tips to Attract Young Consumers

Generation Z (Gen Z) is known as the digital generation.  They are a powerful group of consumers who will give you about 8 seconds to attract and keep their interest in your product or service.  This is particularly important for eCommerce businesses.

Here’s a secret: Refine your website.  Here are five ways to attract and keep their attention:

#1  Your website should mirror their lightning quick attention span.  This demographic is proficient at editing out fluff and hype.  Contrary to popular belief, Gen Z doesn’t act on every stimulus. They want to spend precious little time on a site to decide if you have anything relevant to offer them.  So, make sure your site focuses on realistic and authentic engagement.

#2  Gen Z is mobile-first.  Acknowledging the rapid adoption of smartphones and tablets as a primary means of connecting and consuming, design a website for a quality mobile experience–that is where customers will find you, especially Gen Z.

#3  If your auto-play slows down page loading, Gen Z (and most other consumers) will lose enthusiasm to engage.  Use videos that reinforce your company’s relevance and be sure to launch them with the audio muted.  This will give consumers control and will likely keep them on your site.

#4  Gen Zers immediately know whether your blog post is sponsored. They’ll know if you’ve just written it to get your blog post done for the week.  If that’s the case, they’ll promptly stop following your blog.  Think about how you can make your content exciting, funny, insightful, and helpful.  If possible, make it a series. Above all, be honest.

#5  Consider invitng Gen Zers to write guest posts for your company blog. This will show that you value their viewpoints and opinions.  It will also differentiate you from competitors who may be too resistant to do this.  Additionally, it is highly likely they’ll share their post with their own followers on social media – potentially introducing your blog to hundreds of new Gen Z followers.

These practices will set your company on the right path to capture the more than $44 billion (USD) in spending power of Generation Z.  So, who wants to go out there and make it a great day?